Myriam El Khoury-Malhame

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Myriam El Khoury-Malhame is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Social and Education Sciences at LAU.

She strongly advocates the bi-directional connections between biology and psychology with a special focus on neurosciences as the brain remains the most vital yet understudied organ in psychology. The bio-psycho-social model shapes personality and influences physical and mental health as well as illness. She has combined both approaches in her trainings as a clinical psychologist and a cognitive neuroscientist.

She worked for her doctoral studies under the supervision of David Servan-Schreiber and Stephanie Khalfa, examining the cortico-limbic, physiological and clinical markers of PTSD and explored how EMDR psychotherapy improves PTSD symptoms by restoring brain structure and function.

Research Interests and Specialization

Her research interests include bio-psychological basis of stress, trauma and anxiety disorders, emotions, cognitive and attention bias, fear conditioning, sleep alterations, addiction, resilience, gratitude, attachment, and integrating spirituality to the cognitive behavioral affective triad.

Dr. El Khoury-Melhame also specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in adult outpatients suffering anxiety and depression. She works at promoting the daily use and mastery of novel effective stress management techniques such as mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and heart coherence for normal and pathological populations, in individual and/or group setting.

Moreover, she promotes the integration of psychological support in medical settings and frequently works with health care providers to better implement active listening and stress/pain management tools for patients suffering for e.g. from cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer, etc…

A long-time member of the Girl Scout movement, Dr. El Khoury-Melhame has kept the wondering spirit of exploring the Lebanese hidden gems. She particularly appreciates scuba-diving, snowboarding and globetrotting.

SDGs Research Mapping

Dr. Myriam El Khoury-Malhame conducts research relevant to the following SDGs:

Selected Publications

  1. El Khoury-Malhame M, Rizk R, Joukayem E, Rechdan A, Sawma T. (2023) The psychological impact of COVID-19 in a socio-politically unstable environment: protective effects of sleep and gratitude in Lebanese adults. BMC Psychol; 11(1):14. doi:10.1186/s40359-023-01042-4
  2. El Khoury-Malhame M, Sfeir M, Hallit S, Sawma T. (2023) Factors associated with posttraumatic growth: gratitude, PTSD and distress; one year into the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jan 9]. Curr Psychol.; 1-10. doi:10.1007/s12144-022-04159-8
  3. Kalach N, Harb H, Zeeni N, El Khoury M, Mattar L. (2023) Determinants of body image disturbance and disordered eating behaviors among self-identified LGBTQ individuals. Journal of Eating Disorders; 11:87. doi.org/10.1186/s40337-023-00810-2
  4. Awad E, El Khoury-Malhame M, Yakin E, et al. (2022). Association between desire thinking and problematic social media use among a sample of Lebanese adults: The indirect effect of suppression and impulsivity. PLoS One. 2022; 17(11):e0277884. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0277884
  5. El-Jor, C., Rahi, B., El Khoury Malhame, M., Mattar, L., Moussa, S., & Zeeni, N. (2020). Assessment of the World Food Programme Summer Camps in Lebanon: A model of effective interventions for vulnerable adolescents. British Journal of Nutrition, 1-29. doi:10.1017/S0007114520003682
  6. Rousseau PF.,  El Khoury-Malhame M, Reynaud E, Boukezzi S, Cancel A,  Zendjidjian X, Guyon V, Samuelian JC, Guedj E, Chaminade T & Khalfa S. (2019) Fear extinction learning improvement in PTSD after EMDR; an fMRI study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology; 10: 1-11.
  7. Rousseau PF., El Khoury-Malhame M., Reynaud E., Boukezzi S., Cancel A., Richard E., Zendjidjian X., Guyon V., Samuelian JC., Guedj E., Chaminade T. and Khalfa S. (2018) Neurobiological correlates of EMDR therapy in PTSD. European Journal of Trauma and Dissociation.
  8. Boukezzi S., El-Khoury-Malhame M., Auzias G., Reynaud E., Rousseau P-F., Richard E., Zendjidjian X., Roques J., Castelli N., Correard N., Guyon V., Gellato C., Samuelian J-C., Cancel A., Comte M., Latinus M., Guedj E., Khalfa S. (2017) Grey Matter density change of structure in PTSD after recovery following EMDR therapy. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging; 146-152.
  9. El Khoury-Malhame, M., Reynaud, E., Beetz E.M. and Khalfa S. (2017) Restoration of Emotional control ability in PTSD Following Symptom Amelioration by EMDR therapy. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation; 1:73-79.
  10. Wurtz, H., El Khoury-Malhame, M., Wilhem, F., Michael, T., Beetz, EM., Roques, J., Reynaud, E. Courtin, J., Khalfa, S. and Herry, C. (2016) Preventing long-lasting fear recovery using bilateral alternating sensory stimulation: a translational study. Neuroscience, 2016; 321:222-35.
  11. Reynaud, E., Guedj, E., Trousselard, M., El Khoury-Malhame, M., Zendjidjian, X., Fakra, E., Souville, M., Nazarian, B., Blin, O., Canini, F. and Khalfa, S. (2015) Acute stress disorder modifies cerebral activity of amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Cognitive Neuroscience; 6(1):39-43.
  12. Reynaud, E., Guedj, E., Souville, M., Trousselard, M., Zendjidjian, X., El Khoury-Malhame, M., Fakra, E., Nazarian, B., Blin, O., Canini, F. and Khalfa, S. (2013) Relationship between emotional experience and resilience: an fMRI study in fire fighters. Neuropsychologia; 51(5):845-849.
  13. Reynaud, E., El Khoury-Malhame, M., Blin, O and Khalfa, S. (2012) Neuroticism modifies psychophysiological responses. PlosONE; 7(3)
  14. El Khoury-Malhame, M., Reynaud, E., Soriano, A., Keller, M., Salgado, P., Zendjidjian, X., Gellato, C., Fakra, E., Lefebvre, MN., Rouby, F., Samuelian, JC., Anton, JL., Blin, O. and Khalfa, S. (2011) Neurofunctional Alteration of Emotional Face Processing Correlates with Attentional Bias in PTSD. Neuropsychologia; 49 (7): 1969-73.
  15. El Khoury-Malhame, M., Lanteaume, L., Grosse, EM., Roques, J., Reynaud, E., Samuelian, JC., Blin, O. and Khalfa, S. (2011) Attentional Bias in PTSD Vanishes After Symptom Amelioration. Journal of Behavior Research & Therapy; 49(11): 796-801.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Neurosciences/Neuropsychology. Central and Peripheral mechanisms involved in PTSD and its treatment by CBT and EMDR. University Aix Marseille II. 2011
  • MSc in Biology, in collaboration with the Psychiatry and Psychology departments. American University of Beirut. 2006
  • BSc in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. American University of Beirut. 2003